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The pros and cons of working from home

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Working from home seems like a good idea.  In fact for many it’s probably the dream, especially so if you have never tried it. After all, what could be better than rolling out of bed and getting to the office in seconds?

In reality, just like working at the office, remote working and working from home has its pros and cons. It is important you explore all of them before you make the choice. For instance, if you work as an event organiser then it might seem convenient and cheap to stay at home and hire stand furniture london rather than do it from an office.  It can often seem like that with most office-based jobs.  If your work can be done from home with a laptop and internet connection, then why can’t you work from home?  Surely it’s more cost-effective and time-saving for the business and yourself to be able to do your work duties at home.

It’s an interesting discussion and for me I love working from home.  It brings me so many benefits and it’s the right choice for me.  It’s not for everyone though.  I regularly interview people about working from home and surprisingly there are those who say they could never do it full-time as they’d miss the hustle and bustle of office life too much.

With that in mind, here is a closer look at what working from home entails.

The pros of working from home

There are definitely a lot of benefits to working from home.  Here are just some of them.

• No commute

Not having to commute to work can help you save a lot of money and time.  This is time that could be spent working or being more productive.  Having to travel in rush hour can cause a lot of stress too which can make you more unproductive for a while when you arrive at work as you need to calm and settle in to the day.  Working from home eliminates all of this.  There is no commute.  Wahoo!

• More flexibility

When working at home you will be able to work during times when you feel most productive.  The traditional 9-5 doesn’t allow for this and you are all expected to be productive during the set office hours even if that’s not right for you and your mind.   You can also wear what you love and be more comfortable.  You might not be able do this in an office setting.

• Fewer distractions

You can reduce the distractions when working in your house. While there are distractions at home, you can have more control over them. It is unlike an office where you have to deal with coworkers and their requests, office noise, and other distractions.

• Less stress

Your days become more relaxed when you are working at home. You can better control your stress. For instance, it is easier to take a short walk or break when working at home. This can help to make you much happier.  You have control over your schedule and your break times.

• Save money
You will not just save money by avoiding transport costs, but you can write off some of your home workspace expenses when filing taxes when working from home.

• Better work/life balance

Most professionals have a hard time balancing work and personal life. However, when you work from home, it will ensure that you can have a better balance. It is something most office workers find hard to achieve since they are always so busy with work that home life suffers.  You can be more available to help with family commitments such as taking the children to school. 

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The cons of working from home

Working from home does seem like a good idea at first glance, but it also has its downsides. Before you pick this option, ensure that you understand some of the disadvantages of working at home too.

• It requires major self-control

Getting up and focusing on your work can be hard when you stay at home; the distractions are many. For instance, you might be tempted to watch TV all day or even play games with your kids when they are at home.  You have to be self-motivated and productive when you work from home otherwise it won’t work.

• It is lonely

At the office you have access to colleagues with whom you share ideas. At home, you will feel lonely and can even develop cabin fever.  You need to be someone who is able to work alone and in isolation as there are no colleagues or even commute to see other people.  It’s just you, at home, on your own all day.  This can take some adjusting to.

• Shutting down is hard

The work/life balance can be hard to maintain.  Sure you have more flexibility and can attend your kid’s special assembly or pick them up early on the last day of term, but it’s also really hard to switch off.  You are technically at work all the time now you are at home and it’s hard to stop thinking about everything work related you need to do.  You will find it easy to work all night for long periods, even when it is not necessary. As such, you overwork and your mind becomes too tired to concentrate on family.

• It eats up living space

When you decide to work from home, it will eat up your living space. You have to turn a room into a home office, which means less space for everyone else.  Work becomes a part of your own private home.  It’s not just a place for you to relax anymore and to forget about work; it is now your workplace too.  However, you can be inventive!  Here's how to work from your garden!

• Harder to form relationships

When you work at home, it becomes impossible to form relationships. This is because of the lack of daily human interactions which are needed to form solid relationships. Chatting with people online is not a direct substitute.  It can certainly help, but it’s not the same.

• Less chance of ad-hoc learning

In an office, you can learn from peers with ease and your work may even pay for courses or send you on training days. When working at home, you need to take extra effort to create learning and networking opportunities for yourself.

Final word

Only you can make the choice if a home office is the right move. Besides the pros and cons, you need to think of the kind of business that you run. Consider whether you will have the equipment needed for you to fulfill your tasks with ease. You also need to analyse your personal character traits - working at home simply doesn’t suit some people.


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